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Dreamlands (Dreamlands #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  258 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
In one terror-filled moment, prisoner Keno Inuzaka is being attacked, and in the next, he's standing in the Dreamlands, a mirror of ancient Japan. To his surprise, he finds shelter in the magical world among strangers who swiftly become comrades.

Among them is Samojirou Aboshi, a handsome scholar who treats Keno with unexpected care and respect while openly pursuing his af
...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published August 24th 2009 by Dreamspinner Press
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Heather C
4.5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I must be honest and say that this is not something I would have ever chosen for myself to read. I'm really glad this was picked for me as a reading challenge.

Normally, I do not like to read stories with androgynous characters, but Keno was so adorable there was no way I could not love him. I loved how the relationship evolved between him and Samojirou. Samojirou was so patient and loving to Keno and I was so happy when Keno was finally able to trust
...more
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
I thought this book was very well developed. I loved how even though Samojirou didn’t have to, he still acted like a gentleman and allowed Keno to get used to him instead of just taking what he wanted from Keno. He allowed Keno to make his own decisions on whether they would be intimate and always understood when Keno said ‘no’. I especially liked the fact that there wasn’t much sex; no penetration at all but I thought it worked well with who Keno was. I thought Mason was rather funny with his s ...more
Sandra
4.5 stars I was pretty excited for this one because the plot reminded me of Inuyasha... and I wasn't disappointed!

It starts from the POV of Mason, so of course my first thought is, "who the fuck is Mason." But don't worry, it'll all make sense. They easily could have given us a million POV's and I am so glad they didn't. It's just our two MC's, and then Mason for the added real world perspective. I hope we get more of him in book 2!

There's very little sex in this, although a lot of mention of r
...more
Paul
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
3.5 STARS
Mary
The author's writing style was so fluid that I was midway through the book before I realized it. She gives you a look into the beauty and violence of ancient Japan in the setting of this story, the Dreamlands.
Keno is a bright young man that due to a careless mistake is kept captive in a covert government agency that deals with the monsters and we're not talking about werewolves and vampires here, but oni (demons). Badly mistreated he finds a freedom of sorts when he ends up in the Dreamlands whe
...more
Kassa
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This debut novel from a new author is a stunning piece of work. Intricately plotted with fascinating world building and creative characters, this story captures interest immediately and carries it through to the end. This is one of the better written books in the genre, offering a look at ancient Japan and all its wonder and glory. Unfortunately the book does try too hard in places and jumps into the action so fast there is a continual low level of confusion and muddled detail. However, the worl ...more
Jenre
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, m-m, romance
Dreamlands is told by three different first person points of view. Firstly, there is that of Mason, an African American man working for a Boston based secret agency called Global International run by 'trustees'. Mason is in security and his job is to protect the building and its inhabitants from attacks from the Dreamlands. These attacks are usually in the form of monsters who get through portals and reap havoc when they do. Secondly, there is Keno, a young Japanese man who was dragged from his ...more
Ozlem
Dec 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ozlem by: Katie
Shelves: m-m
3.5 stars. It reminded me of yaoi novels. I had fun but that could have been better. I wasn't drawn into the world which is a rare thing for me. May be that's because I couldn't anticipate with Keno. I don't like weak heroes. I would like to see him get his strength and jump in the active fight.
Kassa
Oct 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This debut novel from a new author is a stunning piece of work. Intricately plotted with fascinating world building and creative characters, this story captures interest immediately and carries it through to the end. This is one of the better written books in the genre, offering a look at ancient Japan and all its wonder and glory. Unfortunately the book does try too hard in places and jumps into the action so fast there is a continual low level of confusion and muddled detail. However, the worl ...more
Siobhan
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I actually really liked this book! Keno was realistic in his fears and concerns regarding intimacy after his traumatic experience at the beginning of the book (to those worried about triggers, the description is vague and never used graphic detail) and the pace was just fast enough to keep me reading, but slow enough that I wasn't trailing behind scratching my head. Although there were points where I was angry with Samojirou for his sometimes forceful nature in regards to some forms of intimacy, ...more
Antonella
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
In fact it is 3,5, but I put 4 here because I don't know how much I should let my total dislike for male characters acting as female teenager influence my rating. Maybe it is believable in that contest (Keno, still very young, discovers a side of himself) or deliberate (a kind of shōnen-ai?).

Incredibly complex world building (the Dreamlands, not Boston, the other place the story is set), lots of details about ancient Japan. It looks like an accurate research went into that.

There is almost no sex
...more
Theodora IK
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

It's weird, the first time I read this story a few years ago, I expected romance so I skimmed a lot when the story was told in Mason's point of view. The story did not impress since I was expecting romance and love story was not the dominant part of this book.

A few years after, this book was republished by DSP Publication as fantasy and I did a reread. My opinion changed a lot! The story got a lot more enjoyable and interesting. It seemed the change in my expectation influenced my opin
...more
Lola
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I give it 5 star. I may find the overtly effeminate keno to be too japanese girly from the 17th century, but the whole story is good. So bumps it up.
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
I pretty much flew through the first half of this book. I loved the balance between the fairly dark storyline involving the Trust and Samojirou's attempts to win Keno's trust. I loved pretty much everything that went on in the Dreamlands: the way Tamazusa and Samojirou interacted, Keno getting used to his new life in the Dreamlands, and Keno slowly building up confidence as Sakura.

Since there are many, many authors I am unfamiliar with in the e-book world, my e-book buying strategies have gone s
...more
Eneida Sanchez
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 out of 5 Stars

Well well well!!

I can say that this book took me by surprise. First off I have a very slutty mind. If it's not Erotica then I aint reading it lol but for some reason I was very interested in this book. I got it then put it off for a couple of days and then when I finally started it I couldn't find it in myself to stop.

The Japanese story originated from a Japanese author named Kyoukutei Bakin who wrote the story from 1814-1842 which was named "Nansô Satomi Hakkenden" which tr
...more
Emily
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I finally got around to reading this book after having it sit on my TBR for years and I’m glad that I did. I greatly enjoyed the story, as it was an interesting plot in a fascinating world that I would love to learn more about. The worldbuilding here was exciting. I could tell that the author did her research into ancient Japan, as that was what the section of the Dreamlands that we visited was based on. However, she also added her own twists to her worldbuilding, with plenty of tidbits and hint ...more
Jennifer Lavoie
Reviewed for The Novel Approach.

Oh my God this book. I stayed up way too late reading it when I had to work the next morning and after I had been sick for days but it doesn’t matter; it was so worth it.

Felicitas Ivey has created an imaginative, beautiful world where mythology lives on, and an alternate, urban fantasy world for us where sometimes those demons from the Dreamlands cross over into ours. The creatures are fantastic and vivid, the characters are engaging, and the situations are expl
...more
Cat
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Dreamlands immensely and can't wait to get the next book which is always a good sign for me whether or not I really like a story.

Stories with Japanese themes sometimes can be very hard to do without it turning into an informative essay in places which greatly detracts from the reading (this isn't just found in stories that try to incorporate Japanese themes either I'm sure but I've only read other stories with Japanese themes to go by). I think the author did an excellant job with the
...more
Adrienne -kocham czytać-
Very good world building and creativity. I loved the characters (well, I hated some, but any extreme reaction is a good thing), loved the adventure, the tradition wrapped up in this other world, and everywhere this story took me. I felt like I was watching an awesome movie because I felt like I was in every scene, and could feel what they felt and imagine these worlds very well.

What really bothered me was the ridiculous lack of editing. There must have been something wrong with the formatting or
...more
Alison
“Dreamlands” is not a romance. It’s urban fantasy with a romance thread. It’s also the first in a series (currently three others follow) and has more of a “to be continued” feeling than a happily ever after. You also have four main points of view: Keno Inuzaka, Samojirou Aboshi, and two members of The Trust—Wolf and Mason.

I really loved the way that a lot of Japanese mythology/legend was brought into the story, despite the fact that The Trust is American, and how well the two were used to make t
...more
Adara
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ok, so now that I've read the sequel, I remember the original plot a bit. I recall that the world-building was really good, though it'll probably be more interesting to those who have an interest in Japanese history. It'll probably be easier to follow who the players are as well. I remember not having a big problem with it because of that. (For those who think they might be confused by the characters and how they fit together, you might get the sequel, Back to the Dream, since it has a cast of c ...more
Bookwatcher
ASAP a full review

Just some thoughts.
I liked it. It's a dark fantasy (IMO), with monsters and most of all... A traumatized main characters (Keno). He can even be touch without trigger in him memories of something horrible that happen (view spoiler). I liked it and I'm giving 4 stars because I had some problems with the forced cross dressing theme. Keno like it? Yes, he start to like to be Sakura, dressing and doing make up as a woman. But he was "forced
...more
Tj
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
Really enjoyed what was for me a different read. I thought Keno was a wonderful character. He is so broken in the beginning. I'm very interested in the second book to see the continuation on his character's growth. Samojirou is a oni or demon. He isn't as bad as I expected him to be, sure he had "removed himself from the game" but still, demon! Thought the world building was wonderfully done. There only seemed a few places where I was confused about info put out there that seemed to suddenly app ...more
LD  Durham
Outstanding. Amazingly crafted story with concrete and believable characters. My only problem with it is my beef with the editor. Whoever had charge of making sure this book was clean of editing typos should be ashamed of themselves. Missing prepositions, doubled words, and swapped homophones were rampant. What an awful thing to do to such a great story. But it's such an amazing story that they are easily ignored as one races through the adventure. An excellent and highly recommended read!
Silent
May 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book just didn't read well to me. It seemed more like a pre-draft version rather than a finished book. What's more I am one of those weird people that no matter how bad the book, once I've started it I just have to finish it. I'm sorry to say that I was forced to break this rule in regards to this book.
Katie
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
An ok read but I wasn't really drawn into the different areas like the dreamlands i just found it hard to picture the place. Plus i found most of the characters annoying and actually wish most would have been killed off. And what was with that ending? Disappointing.
Shara Sy
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-romance
It has a good plot but the way the story was written was .. "Boring" i guess .. But its still a good story :)
Scarletine
Jan 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, m-m
Nice cover!...
Jane
4.5 stars. There were some grammatical errors and I was uncertain/confused by a few things, but overall an enjoyable story that was right up my alley.
Clare
Oct 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent world building and never at the expense of the fine, evocative characterisation. My attention was captured from the very beginning and the suspense never let up.
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Felicitas Ivey is the pen name of a very frazzled helpdesk drone at a Boston-area university. She's an eternal student even with a BA in anthropology and history, since free classes are part of the benefits. She's taken courses on gothic architecture, premodern Japanese literature, and witchcraft, just because they sounded like fun. She has traveled to Japan and Europe and hopes to return to both ...more
More about Felicitas Ivey

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